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UK economy: Following a pandemic, millions of homeworkers may never return to the office.

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UK economy: Following a pandemic, millions of homeworkers may never return to the office.

But as the country enters a new phase in the fight against the coronavirus and the number of cases is growing at an alarming rate, political turmoil is entering a new arena: lounges, bedrooms and offices for millions of British workers.

But now, despite growing cases and a growing public desire for flexible working hours, the government desperately wants employees to return to their offices.
Ministers and business leaders cite economic impact on city centers as the driving force behind their push, but their rhetoric annoys many employees who think this suggests that they do not work hard enough from home.

“The economy needs people to work again,” Foreign Minister Dominik Raab told the BBC this week.

“People are returning to the office in huge numbers across our country, and that’s right too,” Johnson added in his office on September 1. without providing evidence for approval.

The tone of most British media is even sharper. “The ghost town of Britain MUST return to work and Boris Johnson must lead the way,” read the headline of Caroline Fairbairn, head of the Confederation of British Industry.

“They’re back at work … where is the rest of the UK?” there was a front page headline of the same newspaper; day schools reopened earlier in September. The Telegraph published a harsh quote attributed by an unnamed minister a few days earlier: tell people: “‘Go back to work or risk losing your job.”

Shelley Asquith, health, safety and welfare policy specialist at TUC, the UK trade union congress, describes the national debate about returning to work as a blame game.

“Several sections of the media have made a concerted effort to expose that a lot of people who work from home don’t actually work,” she told CNN Business. “And there is no understanding of how hard people worked in isolation.”

“Some of the rhetoric that has been used lately … is horrible,” added Phil Taylor, who conducts work from home experience research for the Labor Rights Institute, saying it “distracts attention from gross negligence on the part of employees. government for months. “

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“Lives are at stake here,” Taylor told CNN Business. “If people don’t want to go back to the office, they shouldn’t be blamed for everything.”

‘This is incredibly irresponsible’

Despite weeks of efforts from government ministers, the difficulties of getting the UK back into office can best be described by the reaction to last week’s cleaning detergent advertisement.

A highly publicized advertisement for Dettol cleaning product. went viral on the London underground network with its wayward list of all the “little things we love” in the office – like “carrying a purse”, “taking the elevator” and “randomly answering everyone.”

“Thank you Dettol for convincing me to work from home forever,” historian Alex von Tunselmann replied, outlining the thoughts of many online commentators.

“If anything, it just reminded everyone why they want to keep working from home,” Asquith added.

Dettola parent company Reckitt Benckiser (RBGLY) declined to comment for CNN Business on its own telecommuting rules.
The impetus for returning to work is Johnson Announces New Restrictions on Public Gathering Due to Rising Covid-19 Cases. heightening concerns about office safety.

“Where workers are in relatively close proximity to each other, there is a possibility of infection,” Taylor said, citing numerous cases where call centers across the country have opened only to close amid a surge in infections.

According to him, Taylor’s research “makes it absolutely clear that people are identifying serious problems with the work environment.” “The density of the existing office space is such that it is almost impossible to maintain effective social distancing.”

UK to spend $ 38 billion on restaurant discounts and tax breaks due to job crisis

Concerns about the economy are at the heart of the puzzle – while home-based work has led to an increase in local housing estates, city centers remain largely deserted since last year, Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Small Business Federation, told CNN Business. The pandemic has been hit particularly hard by street food and coffee chains, after the number of people on busy streets immediately stopped and subsequently failed to return to pre-lockdown levels.

The UK economy has fixed its third month of growth in a row in July, but it still recovered just over half of the production lost due to the coronavirus.

A paradigm shift in British work

The pandemic has also ushered in a new era of home-based work, which many employees simply do not want to give up – and this is becoming a serious problem for the government.

According to the company, about a third of UK employees under the age of 60 are already planning to work more from home when things get better. study of London UCL, a Cardiff University research work found that a full nine out of 10 workers who left their homes during the pandemic want to continue to do so.

“One of the things that has happened as a result of this ban is that people have found they have places where they can work easily and with fewer distractions – and there are benefits to working from home,” Paul said. Bernal, whose tweet is critical of the Daily The first page of an email addressing the issue went viral last week.

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“More people recognized it than I expected and than the government expected,” he told CNN Business.

Bernal is now one of countless workers who disagree with government messages and hope for more flexible mechanisms in the future.

He challenged any assumptions about the impact on performance. “I produced a hell of a lot while I was locked up – probably more than I did before,” he said.

“The government and the media feel hypocritical that they want people to take risks for the good of others, not for themselves,” he added. “The suggestion that we are somehow selfish in choosing to work from home and that we should sacrifice ourselves for the common good – but what is the greater good in this case?

“In fact, achieving a good work-life balance is a great benefit.”

This opinion will surely cause trouble for officials, as they strive to return people to cities every day.

They are not alone; The pandemic has sent about 42% of American workers home, according to Stanford University. research work… But the response to home work in other European countries has taken on a markedly different tone than in the UK.
Coronavirus may teach Boris Johnson a brutal lesson in trying to open schools
In April, Germany’s finance minister told Bild he wanted to pass legislation giving employees the right to work from home at any time, Reuters reported. reported… In France, the government is still advising people who “should give preference to work from home whenever possible.” And a bill that is being drafted in Spain will give employees “the right to flexible hours” and force employers to cover the costs of working from home, according to local reports.

These new ways of thinking about work have hardly been discussed in the UK, but it is time for many unions and workers to do it.

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And as tensions rise between the two camps, it becomes increasingly unlikely that spending five days a week in the office will ever become the norm in the United Kingdom again. “It’s time for a paradigm shift in how people work,” said Taylor of the Labor Rights Institute.

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Prominent colonel criticizes Russian invasion of Ukraine on Russian state television: ‘We must be prepared to lose this war’

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José Milhazes and Nuno Rogueiro reviewed Tuesday an interview with Mikhail Khodaryonok, “the most respected colonel,” a Russian military analyst and anti-aircraft missile specialist. According to SIC observers, the colonel warned Russia and said that Ukraine was capable of arming one million people.

“He said: “We, Russia, are not in a position to resist or win over a million well-armed people. (…) They are more motivated than ever, well prepared and trained,” Nuno Rogueiro translated.

Mikhail Khodarenok also stated on a Russian state television program that Russia could lose the war and that the world is against the Putin regime.

However, Jose Milhazes believes that the statements of the famous Russian colonel “will not change the mentality of Russians if coffins do not start appearing in Russia en masse.”

As for the fate of the Azovstal soldiers evacuated on Monday from a compound in Mariupol and taken to Russian-controlled areas, Milkhazes said that Russia would try to “roll back the process” and “detain the Ukrainian military.” The SIC commentator echoed the Kremlin spokesman’s claim that international laws would be respected and warned: “There is a law in Russia that states that domestic laws take precedence over international ones.”

In turn, Nuno Rogueiro does not believe that Russia can lightly decide to violate the agreement. “Russia will not have much interest in assuaging a grudge and losing something that it can still gain in the process.” He added that, according to his own information, Russia “was solemnly warned” by the United States that it would “suffer hitherto unimaginable consequences” if it attacked soldiers at Azovstal.

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After the surrender at Azovstal, the fate of Ukrainian soldiers is unclear – Obozrevatel

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The withdrawal of hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers who had been at the Azovstal plant in Mariupol since the beginning of the war raised the question: what was the fate of those who surrendered? Ukraine has announced that a prisoner exchange will take place, while Russia is showing signs that the men, who remained for months at the factory in Russian-controlled territory, have another destination.

On the day of the surrender, the Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine confirmed the withdrawal of 53 soldiers who needed medical attention and another 211 soldiers who were inside the Azovstal steel plant. All were transported to regions controlled by the troops of Vladimir Putin.

Although a Ukrainian official said the aim is to exchange these soldiers for Russian prisoners of war, the Kremlin’s position is still unclear, especially after one of the deputies involved in the peace talks with Kyiv came to defend the death penalty for soldiers withdrawn from Azovstal. .

Give up? In total, 264 soldiers were withdrawn from Azovstal. The army said it had “completed” the defense of the plant

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If Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov assured that the soldiers would be treated “in accordance with international standards,” then so be it. that Russia should “think well” about imposing capital punishment on the members of the Azov battalion, who have now been withdrawn from the Azovstal metallurgical plant.

“They do not deserve to live after the heinous crimes against humanity that they have committed and that are constantly being committed against our prisoners,” he said, quoted by Reuters.

Already on Tuesday it became known that on May 26 the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation will decide on the recognition of the Azov battalion as a terrorist organization. According to the Interfax news agency, cited by the BBC, it will be Russian justice that will “judge the nationalist paramilitary association Azov, deciding whether it is a” terrorist organization “.

According to the Russian news agency RIA, Russian MP Sultan Khamzaev also said that “all nationalists should be convicted for the grave crimes they have committed” and sentenced to “life imprisonment.”

Azov. Neo-Nazis or Russian propaganda? History and ideology of the battalion that survived in Mariupol

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Putin will make military decisions at the level of colonel or brigade | Russia

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Russian President Vladimir Putin will be so involved in the war in Ukraine that he will make military decisions, which are usually the responsibility of colonels or brigadier generals, usually leading teams of 700 to 900 troops, Western military sources cited by the British press office said. Click.

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